The Importance of Estate Planning

When most individuals hear about the need for an estate plan, they believe it only applies to the elderly and the ill. Estate planning, however, is important for everyone; even single, young, healthy adults. Estate planning helps an individual plan for the future and gives the court guidance as to what to do if that individual, for an unexpected reason, can no longer make decisions on his or her own.

Common misconceptions

A common misconception that people have is that going to a financial advisor for one particular issue automatically creates a comprehensive plan for them. This is not the case. A comprehensive plan is important, and without it, individuals are left to make decisions that don’t take the grand scheme of things into consideration. Having an all-inclusive plan, however, would allow the individual’s decisions to all work towards achieving a common goal. The comprehensive plan helps the individual avoid unintended consequences that may have a serious impact on his or her future.

There is also a misconception that when an individual is young, he or she does not need to have a comprehensive plan. Although being youthful may make a financial plan seem less important, it is still imperative. Comprehensive plans give families and loved ones guidance and can point them in the right direction and help avoid conflicts in difficult times.

The new age of estate planning

Estate planning is taking on a new face as technology advances. Many of today’s assets are no longer documented on paper, but instead are found in digital form. Some of these include files on desktops, smartphones and on storage devices. Emails, digital photos, digital videos and social network accounts all come into play when considering estate planning.

All digital assets should be taken into consideration when planning one’s estate, and there can be consequences if they are forgotten. Family pictures or special moments could be lost if they are not properly organized. Maintaining a list of all of these assets keeps information accounted for.

Preparing for the future

There are many considerations that go into estate planning. Powers of attorney, guardianships, health care directives, Medicare planning and long-term planning may all be appropriate depending on an individual’s situation. Knowing one’s financial situation and taking proper steps to protect assets can safe guard wealth for the future.

Taking the time to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney will give an individual insight into the many financial planning options available.